30 Jun Saving a Company by Embracing Technology Data and Change
We’ve all learned to use technology our own way and are living with it. But are we really embracing technology or just dealing with it? Our today’s guest will answer this question.
In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Tony Bagdy. Tony is the founder and President of Lyric Solutions. His company helps companies explore what’s possible by utilizing systems to manage their sales data more effectively.
The conversation started with Damon introducing Tony. After this, Tony shared how the world works. He said that we do not accept technology as it is and are always skeptical to change.
Furthermore, Tony shared the struggles of his work that he faced. He said that he doesn’t like to stay in one place which is why he has changed a number of jobs for more exposure. Moving on, Tony talked about how embracing technology is essential for us.
He said that, although the human race is not that adaptable because we are afraid of change. Even so, we do adapt to it one way or the other. Adding to this he said that no one wants to leave the party, everyone wants to be the arriving one.
Therefore, the more we keep on embracing technology, the better it’ll come to us. After this, Tony talked about how technology is rapidly developing. Giving an example of this, he talked about how Netflix has replaced DVDs so early.
Further into the conversation, talking about embracing technology, Tony said that you have to be in a constant state of embracing technology. If you’re not in that state, then you may not exist but the change will keep on existing.
After this, Tony shared his three states where he believes a person is always in the constant state of arriving. The first state for Tony is talking to your customers. By this, he means anyone can be your customer including your employees as well.
The second one according to Tony is getting a guide from outside. According to Tony, this mainly applies to small and medium-sized businesses more. Moreover, he says that these businesses usually don’t know what they don’t know. Therefore, they need help from outside.
The third strategy according to Tony for embracing technology is to pick your battles to win. He said that not everything deserves your attention therefore, you have to pick your own battles. This according to Tony also comes in terms of strategizing your business as well.
For Tony, if you follow these three points you will master embracing technology and won’t arrive late to any party.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking Tony for his time.
Tony Bagdy is the President of Lyric Solutions and a Sales Consultant at KeyNode Solutions. Before this, Tony has worked at Zacks Investment Management for over 4 years. He was also the Director of Digital Strategy at Feeding America formerly.
At his company, they demonstrate what’s possible, before delivering solutions. Their main mission is to create undeniably great working relationships.
Before that, Tony was also the Account Director of Performics and Product Manager, Entertainment at Tribune Company. Moreover, Tony also holds a number of other experiences related to project management.
As for his education, Tony has a BA in International Studies from Dickinson College.
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Saving a Company by Embracing Technology Data and Change
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
salesforce, people, data, technology, talking, business, guide, leveraging, sales team, change, company, sales, trades, hire, clients, lyric, implemented, budget, kpis, cmo
Tony Bagdy, Damon Pistulka
Damon Pistulka 00:05
All right, everyone, Welcome once again to the faces of business. I am your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I am excited because I’ve got a special guest. We’ve got Tony baggy here with me today. And I am ready to go. How are you doing today, Tony?
Tony Bagdy 00:23
You know, Damon, I’m doing awesome. It’s a busy day, you know, it’s hectic day, and then get in here and like, Oh, yeah, let’s do this thing. And so I good to connect. So, so yeah, let’s, let’s get on with it.
Damon Pistulka 00:34
Hey, it’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be fun, man. Because today, we’re going to be talking about saving a company by embracing change technology and data. This is topics that I love. Because if anybody knows me, I’m a change junkie. It’s like a what we did yesterday got us here, but I’m not staying here. So we got to change something to get where we want to be. And when it talks about technology, I like technology, just because I like technology, man. It’s cool. Well, you know, I’m
Tony Bagdy 01:03
going to talk about me and what have you. But, you know, being a change junkie, I found can be dangerous, you know, because if you’re the you know, people don’t like to change, you know, people are hardwired not to change. And I was doing some research, you know, prepping for this, and it was learning that monkeys have a better, you know, adaptability to change than humans do. You know, change is scary. People don’t know, what’s going to happen. And, you know, I think that, you know, that’s a that’s why, you know, they need guidance in this in this world. And that’s what we’re here about.
But, yeah, but, you know, change is hard. And then of course, you put technology in in the mix. And, you know, that adds variables for people who aren’t working with technology. And there’s so many technologies out there. Have you seen the diagrams of all the mark? Now, there’s hundreds of different technologies, there’s, you know, 20, different CRM, there’s how many different marketing automation platforms? Yeah, and, you know, that’s one of the challenges is figuring out the right ones to put piece together to meet your very specific business needs.
Damon Pistulka 02:09
Yeah, yeah, it is. It really is. And that’s, that’s why I think, you know, we’ll get into that. That’s why I think one of the challenges is, is simply selecting something Yeah. Right. Because it’s almost like and I run into this a lot when I’m, when I’m talking with people about their, their business and, and they’re just trying to figure out, what is the right resource to help me today? They may they know, they need they know, they have a problem.
They know, I need to get it fixed. But is it that I need this person, this person, this person, I’m not even talking the same kind of help, you know, because when you get into stuff like the digital stuff, or e commerce and those kind of things, you got, if I’m talking to a web developer, it’s probably a web problem, if I’m talking to a pencil, and SEO person is Seo problem, and in some regards, they’re all right there. I mean, I’m saying they’re probably all right.
But it’s really about what should I do now? And how do I put that together? And that’s where as you talk, the guide is so critical, because you know, just like a Sherpa can get you to the top of Everest, you have to try to try to you know, find the path on your own, you’re likely going down a steep hill?
Tony Bagdy 03:26
Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ll get into it. But you know, you know, we’re a Salesforce agency over here at lyric solutions. We love Salesforce, it’s amazing platform. But you know, I’m part of a number of networking groups, and you know, I’ll throw out there Well, what are some alternatives for some, some other business situations, and there are others that that can be a better fit, depending on where you want to go. The beauty of Salesforce is you probably never grow out of it. But if you’re only going to get so big, and you only have certain needs, it may not be the best option for you. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 03:57
yeah. Yeah. And that’s, and that’s good. You know, it is like, like anything, there’s there’s a sweet spot for it, there’s a right place to use it. And there’s there’s not such they’re not the perfect solution. So let’s back up a little bit, though, Tony, let’s talk about your background, because because the thing that I saw on your background, and when we talked before, that’s really interesting. You actually did sales for quite a while before you got it. And then software sales and different kinds of things that really kind of led you to this point. That’s pretty cool. So let’s talk about that a little bit.
Tony Bagdy 04:30
Yeah, you know, I was I was thinking about this and, you know, I hear sometimes people walk through their, their resumes and I was like, yeah, you know, so, so I’ll try and hit on the highlights but you know, start with I started my career actually managing databases for a healthcare company in 1995. And, you know, and I’ll back up but but really, this story started begins in 2016. And I had been a digital marketer and in that in that, in that time, yes, I mean, I actually built a sales team from scratch with with it with an internal, you know, call call team, you know, wrote the scripts, you know, tested on myself, you know, you know, really nitty gritty have done that.
Yeah. But you know, done digital product management in the tribune company, it burrell’s loose an old school PR media monitoring company, you know, got really infatuated with data performance performance is sort of, you know, one of the leaders, they were sort of the some people consider them the sort of the founder of big enterprise paid search, you know, I knew the fellow who developed the algorithm for, for managing bids on on big platforms.
And so, you know, you get that much data, you start to get insights that can really guide you towards gaining business productivity far more efficiently. But yeah, I mean, I’ve done a count work, I’ve done sales work, digital marketing, digital product management, digital strategy.
And I started out with database work way back in the day was really infatuated with that became a CMO. It’s x Investment Management. Yeah. What’s really interesting is I’ve changed careers, you know, most people get to cmo status, and they think, Okay, well, I’m just going to be cmo. Yeah, yeah. The trouble is they turn over every 18 months. Yeah. So that’s a dangerous role. But I ended up Zacks investment management, I talked to one of the Managing Directors over there, just asked him, I said, Hey, what’s one of your pain points? And he said, I can’t get sales data to my sales team.
It’s trades. So you know, we ran investment strategies, couldn’t get the train data to the sales team, which is really embarrassing for these, these these salespeople, because they’re talking to broker dealers that are selling to clients. They’re dropping trades, 500,000 million, $2 million. And when the broker dealers find out that our salespeople don’t know, what trades are coming through, you know, they’re like, well, I just dropped a trade with you, let’s, you know, let’s get some blood, you know, yeah, yeah. And, and, you know, I said, Well, hey, you’re using Salesforce, right?
So yeah, we’re using Salesforce, but you know, what, we’ve been working on it, but it’s not really happening. And I said, Let me take a look, you know, I’ve got this background, I’ll work on it. So I built a trade manage trades management application, and showed it, you know, it’s spent about a couple of weeks on it, and showed it to the managing director, and he freaked out, he was like, This is exactly what we need.
And so that really sort of opened the floodgates. And I didn’t realize at the time, that’s when my career changed. And I became a Salesforce consultant. You know, I went from a CMO to being a Salesforce guy, you know, 90% of the time, you know, I and, you know, as you and I were talking earlier, is that, you know, one when or one piece of technology or one piece of data starts to become the foundation upon which you can build more functionality and more value, it really builds on itself over time incrementally.
And I think everybody knows, the big projects tend tend to fail, you know, it’s the little ones that you build on top of each other, that work. And so I built an application a quarter, sometimes it would take a day, some of them took six weeks, and we grew that sales team, the sales team had been really successful, but also very sort of static, you know, there were 12, sales people for 789 years, all of a sudden, we were able to manage territories and manage assets, you know, we’re which were leads, and a much more effective, efficient way.
The short of it is we doubled the size of the sales team from 12 to 24 people in two years, we added a layer of management that had metrics in front of them real time, so that they could actually understand how calls, were translating the meetings and how meetings were translating, to sales and to trades coming in. And, you know, we had call us prioritize call lists that were, you know, based on engagement signals, so that, you know, the internal sales people knew who to call.
And, you know, really, that’s what led me to forming lyric solutions, which is, you know, when you see that kind of transformation happen and the benefit that that happens from it. You know, our goal is to do that for for other small to medium sized businesses, whether it be manufacturing and we have manufacturing clients and I know, that’s your bailiwick, but also, you know, healthcare is becoming a big vertical for us. Yeah, and others as well. So yeah, I mean, that’s that’s our story and yeah, you know, worked in in a lot of different you know, facets of
Damon Pistulka 09:47
Yeah, well, and that’s, that’s what I think it’s nice about your background is because you did have to eat not just develop something but make sure it worked and and, and not from a physical Physical kinda, yeah, it adds one plus one, and it puts out two.
But yes, it created real world results that you saw, you saw make a profound impact. And that’s, that’s where, when, when you looking for a guide, having been through a, a similar process doesn’t have to be in the same kind of company doesn’t have to be just a similar situation, when you when you really differentiate between someone that knows the technology, or that has applied the technology, and and successfully applied the technology, I think is is where we’re talking about, and far more beneficial than that. Absolutely. I
Tony Bagdy 10:42
mean, early in my career, I remember being in a meeting with a fellow who was a coder that had tremendous business experience. And I could see how he was seeing the bigger picture. But also he was working at 30,000 feet, and he was working at three feet. Yeah, it was amazing how powerful and influential and effective he was, and working with other people and getting projects done. And, and and I think, you know, that’s what we try to bring, which is, you know, really looking at it, you know, what are the objectives? What are the KPIs? You know, it generally comes down to, you know, grow revenue, work more efficiently, be compliant, etc.
But then, you know, to, to, you know, Salesforce is at the intersection of change technology and data are the reason why, you know, you know, you know, I’m in this and, and, you know, good Salesforce agencies know, there’s more to the work than just leveraging Salesforce rapid development app tools and pushing out platform enhancements, you know, it’s, it’s about having that strategic view. It’s about guiding clients through change, it’s scary. Most clients don’t know what they want. And you have to show it to them, which is why we do a lot of demos. And you know, it’s about selecting the right technology weaving the right tech, even Salesforce has multiple products.
Sometimes people don’t know, they’re possibly even using the wrong product. Yeah. And then refining their processes, because processes are what help beget the data that you need to run your business. Mm hmm. You know, I think that’s, that’s why, you know, I got into this and what we do, and I think it kind of segues in today’s topic, which is it’s about change. Yeah. Technology. And it’s about data. And and, you know, you and I were talking earlier, I don’t I don’t know if you have some additional stories just about, you know, failures given shape.
Damon Pistulka 12:42
Yeah. Yeah. We’ll bring up some of the examples. I think that that you really gotta you got to look at those because we’re not talking. I mean, we’re talking about look at somebody like blockbuster, I mean, okay. Some of the younger people may not really even remember blockbuster, right? But how many there is a blockbuster on damn nerd every corner is like Starbucks almost, you know? Cuz that’s for those. Yeah, blockbuster is? Yeah. Well, they had DVDs at the end. I guess that’s right. I don’t even remember.
But it has bad because he says around before it but you know, that’s it’s an example of they didn’t realize that or didn’t stay abreast of the changing deal around them. And then all of a sudden, this little thing called Netflix came out of the band, and they were then they were like mailing mailing and everybody thought that Well, that wasn’t gonna go anywhere. And then all of a sudden, they’re they’re streaming.
And that was totally outside of our, our realm of possibility. And now. I mean, we we actually, we’ve been in our house a while we actually just got rid of all of our DVDs. Exactly. And you know, everything stream now. And it’s it and that’s enough. How many years was that? That’s not even. I don’t know how old Netflix is that? haven’t looked at it, but it’s not 20 years old. Probably.
Tony Bagdy 13:58
I think it’s less than I think it might be about 15. Yeah. And I remember when I heard of the Netflix concept, I was like, that’s gonna work. That is going to work. And I wish I bought stock.
Damon Pistulka 14:11
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s so funny that that he I think, only talking earlier you brought up Kodak and and like you said Kodak, was they developed the digital camera?
Tony Bagdy 14:22
Exactly. They developed the digital camera 1975. And when Kodak and these were engineers, they loved their work. They knew what customers wanted. And management didn’t want the digital camera because it was going to kill selling film. Yeah, it was a cash cow for them. And so but where are they now? Yeah, that doesn’t exist. Yeah. And you know it again, it’s just you know, you got to listen to the customer.
It’s absolutely critical. And, yeah, and you know, the one the other one will bring, bring one more up and, and I think this gets back to you know, it’s the theme I’ll sort of preview here which is as A business, I think you want to be in a constant state of arriving. Because if you’re not, change is happening so fast that you’re not going to exist. And you know, I was joking earlier, if you’re not in a constant state of arriving, that means you’re leaving the party.
Yeah. That, you know, are the parties leaving you. And we all want to go to the party and have a good time. Right. Yeah. So but but the the other one I’ll bring up because it’s a little more recent, you and I talked about it was Nokia. And so you know, in the late 90s, I remember when I got my first business cell phone, and the company was paying for paying for the service. And I felt real good, I’m important, people need to get a cool Nokia phone. And they’ve disappeared, because Nokia put all their their their, their, their thinking into it. It’s all about the phone.
It’s all about the phone, it’s not about the data. And there’s all about the phone and the hardware versus the software and the data and the apps and the internet. So who comes along? Steve Jobs? Yeah. 2007 the iPhone. And now, you know, you were just saying, you know, we’re not gonna talk about our age here. But people younger than us, you know, we think may not have heard of heard of Nokia? So yeah. Yeah. You know, for our listeners out there for CEOs, or C level, C level, executives, you don’t want to be that company. And so hopefully, there, there’ll be a few nuggets of wisdom. Or, for
Damon Pistulka 16:27
some, it’s just, it is just the every industry is just without a doubt, I don’t think you can find an industry that has not been overtaken by a player that they everybody thought there, that’s a they’re never gonna be anything be there. They’re just doing way too different. And then it takes over the industry.
Yeah. Or does something really amazing in industry? I mean, I don’t know, you look at you look at cars. Look at Tesla, they’ve been boohoo and Tesla for how long now everybody’s trying to copy it. And, and you look at, like, it just you just go across the board, there’s so many that you just think of that it just starts out of here and goes home because the big comfortable, big comfortable slow to change.
Tony Bagdy 17:12
Yeah. And you know what, I think it matters at every level of the organization. You know, certainly I had a colleague who used to always say this, and maybe it’s a negative, but he used to always say the fish stinks from the head down. You know, and I think the rows can smell good from the head down as well. But I but I think that, you know, I’ve worked in companies where there were employees who were doing very manual work, that wanted to continue doing that, because they felt like that’s what they needed to do to keep their job.
And I know, this is a very hot topic in our society today, which is, you know, is automation going to steal your job, and, you know, it’s, you know, retraining is is key, you know, I think adaptability is so key. And it’s not just for managers, it’s mid level, and, and and, you know, entry level. And, you know, I think at every level and I think this is part of the lesson too is that if you’re going to hire hire auto, but I you know autodidacts people who are, who will self teach themselves and are adaptable, because, you know, ultimately, you know, good ideas come from anywhere they come from your customers, they come from your partners, they come from every level of your company.
And so finding out where those opportunities are to be more efficient, and being a driver of that at any level in the company, versus sort of clinging to, to, you know, manual processes that that will be phased out. And it’s a hard topic, you know, I don’t want to take it lightly. It’s a hard topic. Yeah. But those are things that that I think people can think about. So
Damon Pistulka 18:42
yeah, definitely. I mean, and we’ve, we’ve heard that over and over about, about labor and automation and some of those things, but, but honestly, I really think that the, when you look at manufacturing, look at automation, right? Yeah, the, the fact of the matter is, right now we can’t hire enough people in manufacturing, not even close, not even close. And the rates of the rates of retirement across manufacturers now, in some cases, is making it even worse.
So I think that automation, for some of it, a portion of it will be just fine. And I think you know, we’ll find an equilibrium that works but on the other hand, too, it’s there’s there’s competitive reasons that companies have to do this because if you if you never want to have to make this kind of trade off, but people have to sometimes is we can either do this with automation or we can let it go someplace else that’s gonna do it.
Yeah. And and you know, those are those are those are keep you up at night kind of decisions because I you know, I talk to business owners every single day, and not a one of them says, I want to get rid of all my employees because I don’t care about them. They care about them. They care about them deeply. And and you know, there’s varying levels. So that obviously, but but in I’m fortunate enough to work with with some that care about them a lot and those decisions don’t come lightly. And that’s, I think that I’ll just give a little bit of that side of it because it is it is a tough decision.
But this, this embracing this and like you say, the three you brought up, when you’re talking here are three ways to be caught in a constant state of arriving, I like to like to hear a little bit more about that, because I like that idea of being ready for technology being open to it and be able to, to at least, be sitting there and going. What’s that? And how might that help at least taking that that few minutes to think about it a little bit? Rather than we already know what we’re doing? We’re doing it this way? Because you never know.
Tony Bagdy 20:47
Yeah, yeah, well, I’ve got a few few items. And now this list is, could be very long. So you know, I kept it to three. And you know, anybody could take argument with it and say something else could could be better. But, you know, I think the first one is something we just talked about, which is it’s talking to your customers, and, and your customers can not only be customers, but your customers could be employees, your customers could be your boss, it could be a partner. And and I really do mean talk. You know, I’m also a marketer by trade. You know, I’ve sent out a lot of surveys, everybody’s doing NPS scores, Net Promoter scores, you know, how likely are you willing?
how likely are you to recommend this product or service to a friend? and scientifically, they know that that is effective. But you know, one little tip is to literally use the phone? Because, and, and, you know, it’s more of the qualitative side of things. And if you’re, you’re on the phone with, you know, with the customers, how are we doing? You know, I had, I had a great boss at performics. His name is Michael Kohn. And he, he used to always tell us his account matters. Make sure you’re talking to clients, ask them, How are you doing?
And you know, when you get those, you start to figure out, is it? Do we have response time issues? Is it response quality issues? Is it speed of resolution issues? And, and really figuring out what, what people need because, you know, implementing technology or focusing on change without understanding where you’re going, or how that ties to an outcome, which is better service, better customer satisfaction, client retention, revenue, etc, you know, it’s not going to help you. So I think it really does start with the human element. So I’ll call that number one. I think number two, is get a guide from outside.
Damon Pistulka 22:34
Tony Bagdy 22:34
get a helper. And, you know, I’d say that this probably applies more to small and medium sized businesses, possibly a little bit less to larger companies, where you’ve got a lot of employees sort of coming in coming out, there’s a lot of new fresh blood, there’s a lot of new ideas. They’ve got a lot of specialists on staff. So I would say it probably applies a bit more to the small to medium sized businesses.
But as we were saying earlier, there’s so many different technologies, there’s so many different best practices in terms of implementing those technologies. And businesses, frankly, they don’t know what they don’t know. Yeah, and changes happening super fast. I mean, yeah, the Salesforce ecosystem, you know, we’ve got to take, you know, we’ve got to keep up with our certifications. There’s new features coming out all the time, every quarter, there’s an orbit three times a year, there’s a new release. And it’s, it’s amazing. And, yeah, I
Damon Pistulka 23:29
think that that part of it, then part of it, too, is is is huge. Because the the guide in this is I see a lot, you said it really well. You don’t know what you don’t know. So I’m sitting here today, and I want to I want a new CRM, I don’t know what to look for in the CRM, because I don’t have one today, I’ve got a I’ve got a set of spreadsheets that we’ve used for a long time. And we use that to track you know, whatever we can track off it.
And now we’re talking about taking this quantum leap and into what we can do and look into the whole ecosphere of now, I want to take this quantum leap, and I got all these, they say I’ve got just three systems, I’m like a pair and I’m just making up the number over three, four, or five, whatever. Now, what features make a difference? And what features make a difference to me today, and what feature is going to make a difference to me three, three or so years down the road?
Because and then really do I care if it’s if it’s something that will make a difference to me five plus years down the road, you know, and just understanding these things, because it’s so hard. I’m trying to run a business here. I don’t want to go out and try to you know, get myself up to speed on these all these three technology platforms. And what’s really key to my business and and does this one fit that or how does it fit it and there’s just so much when you start to think about that part. So I think a guide is Critical in these decisions,
Tony Bagdy 25:02
yeah, and it’s not only selecting the technology, it’s how it’s implemented. Yeah, because, you know, these technologies are highly, they’re becoming highly configurable. And I think one of the, certainly one of the trends that that’s occurring is this concept of citizen coders or, or, you know, or have departments really sort of leveraging the technology for themselves, versus calling it and say, I need you to fix this for me, you know, and, and, you know, the role of it is changing the role, of course, marketers is changing, really, of all, all types of people are changing,
I think if, regardless what role you’re in, if you’re not understanding or moving in a way that enables you to take advantage of technology, just in time, in the moment, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re at a disadvantage. And so, you know, we see a lot of what I call him a baseball fan, we see a lot of pitches, and, and we hit a lot of pitches.
And because we do that, and this, not only us, it’s any, any agency, that’s, that’s working in a space, they’re going to know how to implement something the right way, something that we see very often in our companies, licensing technology, you know, and quote, unquote, implementing it themselves, and ended up they’ll end up creating issues for themselves, because they implemented in such a way that, you know, their data puts them in a bind, and that hasn’t been around. And, you know, it’s what some people call technical debt, you know, you, you, you build this, and you’ve got to pay it back in terms of somewhat fixing it for you.
So, yeah, and even if, even if it’s just talking to people, thing we do a lot of is, you know, we just talk to prospects and say, Hey, what are your objectives? What is your technology landscape look like? Now? You know, we’ll spend a, you know, our hour or two with them. And, you know, maybe they’re not a lot, a lot of times, they’re not ready to move forward, but at least, and they don’t have to pay us anything, you know, we just, it’s a conversation. And we’ll, we’ll tell them, Hey, you know, yeah, this is this is the type of technology you might want to use, or that type of integration you might want to do and how you might want to do it, you know, etc. And so knowing how is is really important.
Damon Pistulka 27:17
Yeah, it is, it is because those Yeah, I mean, it’s always it is one of the toughest things for executives to do today is how do you stay enough in the know to be dangerous? Yeah, it’s because right, because we we’ve all done it? And what, honestly, I think what happens is, is as as what can happen, executive just say, Nope, that’s right. Or done. It’s not it’s not changing anymore. Yeah.
Tony Bagdy 27:49
So true, you know, a lot of time the executive conversation is, you know, okay, here’s the technology. And what does this mean to the bottom line?
Damon Pistulka 27:58
Tony Bagdy 27:59
you know, if you’re an executive, I guess it depends on what role maybe there’s a difference between being a CEO and a CEO, you know, I would expect the CEO to dive in and learn a little bit more about it to understand how it’s going to get you that return. But that’s where, again, hiring is so important is that you’re hiring VPS and directors and managers, that that that can help evaluate this, put it in context for for execs. So they they can sell that in, but, you know, I do think that, you know, hopefully, I don’t get pounded by your CEO audience that, you know, oftentimes, I think a CEOs will find a technology and say, Hey, this will do this, go go do it.
And it’s like, Ah, you know, or it’s, or it’s the opposite, which is no, I don’t understand it, because I don’t understand it. We’re not doing it. Yeah. And I think it’s, it’s, quote unquote, dangerous because, you know, if, if, if you do continue to do things, do business the same way as you’ve always done it, you know, you’re slowly likely depending on your situation, your market, your industry, you know, moving towards, you know, your demise. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 29:13
Yeah. And, and some of these systems too, when you start to look at it, and you go, okay, you know, say a bad a bad eirp decision, right. And I always like eirp, because it’s just like a giant sucking black hole. And it’s in it’s one that’s that is, is is a silent killer in some cases, too. Because, you know, you’ll hit somebody that’ll that’ll compare to your peace systems. And I’m not gonna say I can even compare him I can only tell you, I’ve had to come in and deal with the aftermath of it. And you go, okay, we decided to get this DRP system or why did you decide to do it? Okay, there’s all these reasons and they might have been good reasons.
I don’t care if they’re good or bad, but then you go to the implementation. Phase of it in my bag, you might spend in on a, I don’t even know, I’m just guessing you might spend $250,000, just just to get to stage one, right. And then you start to implement this thing and everything else. And pretty soon you’re sitting here, you’re here a year down the road, and then you’re another year, another six months down the road. And it’s really not implemented yet.
But I’m another million dollars on top of that in labor and technical fees and support and all this other stuff. And these these decisions like this, you really have to have a lot of people and a good guide, helping you to get to get the holistic approach. Because when you look at this, this guide, part of the guides role is to say, No, you really don’t need that. That’s cool. That’s a nice, that’s a pretty bell. So that’s that thing is shiny, it makes it really sweet sound, but nothing to do with that. And let’s get this this stick to what is really effective and going to drive the biggest results.
Tony Bagdy 30:59
Yeah, that’s the bell. You want the whistle? Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s so true. And, you know, one thing I want to add to that is that, you know, oftentimes, it’s not just a guide for the beginning, but it’s having someone riding shotgun for you. Yeah. For no, depending on the size of the project, or the implementation or the complexity of it. But but at least having a resource that you can call, you know, you and I were joking earlier that, you know, hey, if something goes wrong, you know, you got to have a guy, you know, you gotta have your phone number to figure out how you’re gonna call. So it’s good to have that. So yeah,
Damon Pistulka 31:34
well, and if, if they’re familiar, I mean, at least they can provide, provide some direction, because as we talked, it’s a lot of time, it’s just, you don’t know what to fix next, or what to work on next. And if they can just give you that one thing can be a huge difference.
Tony Bagdy 31:49
Yeah, I’m a big believer in focus. And, you know, that actually gets to my third bullet here, which is, you know, pick your battles to win the war. Yeah, the strategy and, you know, the simplest, you know, so many definitions of strategy out there, you know, and it’s a such an overused word, one definition that I absolutely love, it’s two words, vision prioritized. And, you know, there’s, there are many other definitions as well, but I like that one. And it you know, it’s about not trying to bite off more than you can chew, you know, in terms of a constant state of arriving and facilitating changes, don’t try and do it all at once.
But, you know, pick off the small bits at a time. And again, we’re a guide can be very helpful with sequencing, sequencing can be hugely important. Because, you know, as we were talking earlier, some technologies processes, some available data builds on what came before it. And so the sequencing piece can can be Oh, and, and I had, I had actually a bonus, I had a bonus point.
All right, for, and I read this in the press somewhere, recently, I don’t remember where but it was, don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value. Yeah. And I think that, you know, I’ve run into clients, and when I was at performance, we were doing a lot of, you know, we got a lot of opportunities to test technologies and, and processes for clients. And we would bring these up with clients and clients, oh, this is great. We want to do that. And then they go, but we’ve already allocated all of our budget to you know, pay per click and for, you know, conversion optimization, and you know, etc.
And, and so, I honestly hand on heart have not have yet to meet a CEO who’s budgeted for change or budgeted for pilot projects. And you know, it’s one of those pet things of mine I really think that you know, if you want to, you know, change you want to be innovative. You do you’ve got a budget don’t come you value that budget for it. Yeah, small amounts. And maybe you set up a contest with your employees and say, hey, we’ve got an innovation contest. Yeah. comes up with the best project this is the budget you know, you know, whatever get get your employees involved but but but plan for IT budget,
Damon Pistulka 34:15
that’s a good idea because you’re a right because I’ve never even heard of doing that. Were you planning budgeting for change? I know budgeting for new equipment budgeting for for new initiative Yes. But not just saying this is what we’re gonna dedicate to money that we’re solely going to try to dedicate and change what we’re doing to be better.
Tony Bagdy 34:38
Yeah. be innovative, you know, in a constructive thoughtful way. Yeah. So
Damon Pistulka 34:45
yeah, budget for change. That is a good one. It’s a good one.
Tony Bagdy 34:48
Yeah. Well, obviously the devils in the details of what you come up what what that change is and how that ties to you know, yeah, you know, you know your, your brand characteristics your you know, your strengths as a business, you know, etc. So, you know, obviously it depends on the ideas that come out of it. So
Damon Pistulka 35:05
yeah, right. So when you when you talk about leveraging technology, so yeah, you got better way ways to better leverage technology. So what do you what do you got going on there? You?
Tony Bagdy 35:17
Okay, I’m gonna lay it on you. Okay. So I think the first one is the least I have, again, there’s so many you could come up with is know, your needs. And I think that we may have spoken to this a little bit earlier is that I was talking to a prospect the other day that had bought a Salesforce product, an expensive one, before them, knowing actually how they were going to use it, and how those features apply to their business. Yeah. And then they said, you know, and we’ve got, and then and they were just, you know, we’ve got all these needs, and then they showed me what they call their, you know, their spaghetti.
Yeah. And this was actually and the spaghetti was, you know, the, the diagram of all the technologies they’re using, how they’re integrated, what have you, and they were aware that there were some redundancies and there might be some gaps, etc. But, you know, I can tell from talking to this company, that, no, they were fortunate and that they had resources, they could spend money.
Yeah. And, but it was also it seemed to me at a high level without being really in in, you know, working with them that it felt like somebody had said, hey, you’ve got to get this, this is this is going to help you, you’ve got to get this technology, you got to get this technology, and just hadn’t really known your needs, you know, in tech world, its requirements, what are your requirements? Yeah, you know, and, and, and even, you don’t have to get every little Nick, Nick detail, but you can put high level requirements together that can start to guide, you know, what, what you need.
So, so know, your needs, and again, a guide can help there. And, yeah, that gets to point number two, which is redundant. But I think, again, it’s it’s, it applies, which is get a guide from outside, you know, again, there’s so many technologies available, sifting through them, and understanding, you know, how they integrate, or how they go and integrate. Is, is important. You know, I spent with a client manufacturing client, I spent over two days, just we’re researching SMS providers for them. And, you know, you know, didn’t pay, you know, they didn’t pay for all that time pay for small, small part of it.
But, you know, I spent just, you know, two days doing that, you know, another way to do it, which I think you you would appreciate is it’s have a network, you know, yeah, if you can’t afford a guide, or you don’t want a guide, or you’re not talking to the agencies like ours, is, you know, build your network and appears and talk to them about their experiences, you know, and wherever possible test drive, if you can, you know, get, you know, obviously, the free trials or what have you, some agencies will do demos of functionality, you know, to a point, we do do a lot of that.
So, you know, they’re little proof of concept. And those really make a big difference. Because when we, when we build those people say, Oh, that is what I want, it actually works. And I know, you know how to do it.
Damon Pistulka 38:22
Yeah. I’m so great example. And I think I think you’re right there with the Yeah, seeing that, seeing that through like that. And then and then just being able to envision how it’s going to solve whatever you want to be doing.
Tony Bagdy 38:39
Yeah, no, absolutely. And then, you know, you and I was talking about, you know, and I had to get the dictionary out to make sure I was using this word, right, but higher autodidacts. So if you want to leverage technology, it’s not just people who know technology, but find people who are curious, who love to learn, who are adaptable, who may have run hands on tech, who are non it people, because people obviously manage technology all day long.
But find, you know, whether they’re in marketing, they’re in customer success, if they’re in operations, if they’re in accounting, wherever they may be, find people and bring people in who who have that adaptability, the comfort and have worked around technology. Yeah, so I think that’s a, you know, I think that’s important.
Damon Pistulka 39:32
Yeah. So we’ve we’ve talked about how to be in the conscious state of arriving, which I think is cool as actors. Yeah. How are we always ready for that technology and then leveraging that technology. Now, when we talk about data, and this is this is one of the things that man, I tell you what, and this is exciting to me, it is so data is so exciting to me, because I’m an old data junkie from I mean from ever even When I was doing my master’s work in statistical process control, you know, it was it was.
And it was just when you understand data and what it can unlock for you and how it can paint a picture, right? It’s always been amazing to me. But when we look at data today, the thing that is changed is the value of good data, I think is as just gone, that that has just kept incrementally and maybe even exponentially, and sometimes really gone.
If the people that have the data, that’s one thing have the data is cool. But being able to turn it into useful information is really where it’s been exciting, I think the last five years, because we talked about some big data things and you look at some of these, some of these platforms now that are that can show you things about data that you haven’t seen before, or use data like a Salesforce, or another CRM, HubSpot, whatever it might be that you’re using, and be able to interpret that for you. And then get it to you to utilize it the way you want to is crazy.
Tony Bagdy 41:06
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s artificial intelligence. And, you know, it’s, it’s amazing, you know, three or four years ago, I mean, we all heard of AI three or four years ago, or even five years ago, but now you just hear it all the time. Yeah. And and you prefaced your last statement with good data.
So, you know, and and, you know, that’s a whole other topic. And yeah, I, it was my fourth bullet, which I didn’t include, which is keep your data clean. And now that’s somebody’s job. And so yeah, you know, you know, that that’s a whole other topic. But, you know, not not to depend on Salesforce, but it’s my point of references that Salesforce has built AI into their platform, you know, if you’re licensing, you know, specific products, and it will, it will tell you, you know, which leads are most likely to close and give you some understanding of why that may be.
And, you know, as I was, you know, learning more about the Salesforce AI piece, you know, I’ve always talked about, you know, start collecting data, because you need a lot of it for AI work. Yeah, you know, if you, you know, you, you know, we we put our trades management application, we started getting trades from, you know, various, you know, wire houses and what have you, you know, two months of that data, isn’t that helpful a year, isn’t that helpful, you start to get three years of that data four, or five, and it can start to unlock some secrets that can help you target better.
But one of the things that Salesforce is doing that I think is interesting is that they’re AI, they know that that that many companies won’t have the stock of data that they need to actually make the AI work. And so they’re actually leveraging, you know, I believe their clients data anonymously, to feed in, you know, with characteristics that match with your data to tell you what’s, you know, what, what’s the opportunity? That’s, that’s ready to close?
Damon Pistulka 43:03
Tony Bagdy 43:05
So yeah, I mean, AI. I mean, it’s, it’s collecting the data. And some people have different different perspectives on data. Some are like, collect every piece of data, you can. And that’s, I think that’s actually a legitimate approach. And more selective, you know, this is why that data is important. I, I don’t offer an opinion on that. I like both. I think it depends. But, you know, three ways to better leverage data.
I mean, again, the first one is less technical, it’s more human focused, which is know your questions, what questions do you want to answer? I mean, I mean, you know, you know, which leads are going to produce the highest ROI, you know, who do we prioritize selling? To? How much product are we going to need in three months?
If you’re manufacturing? How much inventory Do we have at the warehouse? You know, how fast are we getting our customer issues being resolved? How does that tie to customer satisfaction, and understanding the layout all those questions before you start collecting data? And before you start creating reports, because ultimately, that’s what you want to do you want to answer the questions that will enable you to, you know, grow your business work more efficiently, you know, etc.
So, I think knowing the questions are really important and, you know, as a consultant as an agency, you know, we we try to know what those questions are, you know, we do these implementations and, and, you know, configuring this, you know, creating this automation, you know, but what I find is that, it’s the reporting, it’s the dashboards, and it’s the insights that you can get from that, that really is kind of where the whole thing sings. And what what what what really makes a
Damon Pistulka 44:44
difference for businesses so and it’s the picture that gives you even even in the, the simple and I’m gonna say these are simple dashboards that I use with clients on on just operating KPIs for a for a business overall and I I really try to dumb things down because I think I think two things. I think if I if I know there’s enough sales coming in, and I did it profitably in a week, I’m probably and it’s the right amount. So those three, I’m probably gonna be okay one and my financials come out at the end of the month.
Tony Bagdy 45:16
You know, I just I love it because I think that, you know, as data junkies, you and I both, there’s so many things you can measure, there’s so many different things you can measure. And I worked at Feeding America and I was head of digital strategy there. And one of the things that I did, you know, with a broader team was helped develop, what are those KPIs? And we had, we had long conversations about them, or to make sure that we’re picking the right ones, and that they really do they are indicative of performance to come. Yeah. And so picking those KPIs is is I almost put that on the list?
Damon Pistulka 45:55
Well, I’m going to tell you, when you talk about leveraging data, there is not hardly one thing that a business owner can do to make their business easier to run, is to know how well I’m doing on at least a weekly basis, if not a daily basis, because as soon as you understand that, and you go, Ah, it looks like these numbers were pretty good this week. And you get through a few cycles of how that turns out into a pretty decent month at the end of the month. And you watch your bank account and just kind of move like you want it to their their life, their life just becomes completely different.
Because otherwise, I’m trying to figure out okay, is my r&d department doing what they’re supposed to did my did all my manufacturing or whatever? Did we ship enough product? Did we get the materials we need all this stuff, kind of kind of kind of just subsides, when you start to see on that that timely basis that at the end of the day, we made them we you know, the right amount came in the right amount went out and we you know made about the money we thought that simplifies your life so much. Yeah,
Tony Bagdy 47:01
yeah, what having those data’s I mean, it could just be as simple as, you know, how many calls Do we need to make this many meetings which gets this? And it means you get those metrics? You go, Oh, hold on, know what we actually need to hire more call people versus outside sales people, or vice versa. And that’s big money. It is the amount of money it takes to onboard somebody, get them get them running, you know, hiring, you know, it’s fixed cost, you know, it’s it’s a big deal.
Damon Pistulka 47:29
Well, and, and I look at it too, and those kinds of decisions, that data paints that picture. Parents have pictures, you can make an intelligent decision. And oftentimes, when you talk about a guide, right, you talk about, I think the one thing that business owners overlook overall, that cost them more money is time. Because we can set as a business owner, I’ve done it myself, running businesses, yeah, think and go out this for weeks at a time trying to figure out what should we do?
What should we do? What should we do? When Yes, it may have been kind of expensive at the moment to spend, you might spend 1000 bucks for somebody to spend a couple hours with you. In the case of of that, but it would save you three weeks of our business not offering what you want. This is not a drop in the bucket. Yeah, yeah. And it really we need to understand this and understand the timeliness of how data paints that picture when we need it, or how I guide can can show you how to paint that picture. Tomorrow morning. Not three months from now. Yeah. And get you there.
Tony Bagdy 48:41
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. It’s actually one of my third bill, I’m gonna skip to the third bullet before I come to the second one, which is, you know, a better way of leverage data is, is share it. And ideally, it’s real time. And it’s all one point of reference that everyone is using.
I mean, the classic scenario is that, you know, you’ve got, you know, marketing using one set of spreadsheets, you got sales using another set of spreadsheets, they don’t really jive with one another, you know, marketing says, Well, we got all these leads, they’re great and sales saying, well, they’re not that good, you know, and it’s just having one source of the truth. And this is Salesforce speak, you know, they talk about 360 degree view of the customer, and one source of the truth. And that’s what helps unify teams and getting them moving in the same direction and getting them cooperating.
So there aren’t any any disagreements about, you know, you know, if you want to call them service level agreements between departments, you know, everybody’s looking at the same numbers. So, you know, whether and you don’t need to use Salesforce for that, but a lot of people are using business intelligence software, you know, Power BI, which is free from Microsoft. Yeah. You pay somebody to configure it. You know, Salesforce bought tableau, which was one of the Yeah, the key players in that space, but You know, a better way to leverage data is share it and have one source for it that is unified. So I’ve seen that make a big difference.
Damon Pistulka 50:10
Yeah. So as as we we’ve gone through this, it’s it, you know, saving a company by embracing change technology and j day, there’s a lot of lot of things to consider, that’s for sure. You know, but, but I think what, what, a couple points that stick out with me are, ask ask people around you, a first of all, see if you’re really embracing change yourself as a leader of a company, right, and you gotta if you’re not get the help to do it, start doing it, whatever you got to do, because if you’re not changing and evolving, you’re dying, it’s just the way it is.
And we all know that no matter who you are, in, and we see that he does pick any company, Coca Cola, for example. I mean, you know, like, they all they if you’re not going to change, you’re gonna die, slow, slow and painful death, just slower for others. And, and then the second thing is, is get that guide, I just think that getting a guide and some of these things that you’re doing, and it’s not something that and this is what I think in the last five plus years, five to 10 years has changed an awful lot is, is we see people in business now.
Hiring a coach, maybe a personal coach, maybe a maybe a more a more specialized help. And I use that on a personal level, because it does make a difference. And just go back to sports. People like in our day, Michael Jordan, or or anybody today that you see it Tom Brady, Tom Brady’s not the quarterback, and even though he’s not my favorite quarterback, he’s very good. Very good. He’s he is he is the goat that there’s no doubt about it. Oh, my favorite quarterback, but Oh, there you go. I’m going into the air and Brady is is in these days, but even have coaches they’ve they have coaches, they have coaches to help meet right, you know, all the sleep, right?
Think, right? All this stuff. And then we’re sitting here in business thinking that we don’t need that kind of help. We’re fooling ourselves, we’re simply fooling ourselves. And and some people, you know, go as far as they don’t even read books on new things to help them do this. I mean, it’s it’s Yes, that is my thing is a guide, or a coach or something is something that can help you waste much less time. Yeah, I mean, there’s so many, so much the work we do is specialized these days.
And you said, so well, which is, you know, it, you know, if you hire somebody to you know, you know, customize an application for you, it might take them may take a few hours, it might take a day, it could take you a month, you know, you have to get out the instruction book and figure it out. And then there’s the gotchas you’re not aware of, and you don’t know, the best practices. So you do you know, and, you know, so yeah, I think that that is definitely a theme here. Yeah. Yeah. And then and then, you know, at the end is, is, as you said, is dedicating the resources to be unable to continue to change and evolve?
Tony Bagdy 53:19
Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s easy to see these things as projects and they’re there. It’s, it’s, it’s a mindset, I mean, it is a cultural mindset. And, you know, again, the, the tone is set from the top, but, you know, hiring throughout and thinking about that, now, most people hire for, you know, in the most simplistic terms they hire for cultural fit in the hire for skill set. And, but, you know, find people you know, and those are, perhaps the two most important but, you know, find people who adapt, because, you know,
I mean, as you’ve you’ve probably noticed, as our listeners have probably noticed, I’ve adapted, I’ve done everything from sales to account management to, you know, you know, the Salesforce consulting, you know, marketing, etc. And, you know, I think, I think it enriches you as an individual as well, and enables you to bring more value to the organizations that you work for when you’ve you’ve been, you know, you’ve been fortunate enough to to sit in a number of chairs, because what you what you think depends on where you sit, right?
Damon Pistulka 54:20
Yeah, yeah. And that’s, that’s for sure. And I think that diversity that you bring with the diversity of experience is such a huge thing is such a huge thing. Yeah. So well, this has been great get getting lucky Tony, and we could go on for a long time. This stuff is a passion of yours and passion of mine. I think that, you know, true change has to start inside of us and and then just be willing to go there. Yeah, you
Tony Bagdy 54:51
know, one thing I want to add, and I know we’re wrapping this thing up, and I almost brought it up, but you know, there’s a phrase the revolution will not be televised. And that’s what that’s all about. It’s not changed doesn’t happen with people with with pikes and swords and torches. It happens inside the revolution isn’t being televised, but it’s happening inside each one of us. And so you’re absolutely right. You know. And Earl, I agree with that. You know,
Damon Pistulka 55:18
that’s awesome. That’s awesome. I know, I know people always wonder, they always see me doing this. I write. Whenever I talk with people I always write and I’m now with you, I’ve got about a page and a half already of stuff I’ve written down because I think that, you know, as as we do these these type of interviews, it’s great to have you here today talking about saving a company by embracing change technology and data. There are so many golden nuggets, that that we have that we don’t even know I don’t care if you’re 12 or 120. There’s Nuggets to learn from people, and I just love being able to share them.
Tony Bagdy 55:55
That’s great. Well, hey, Damon, you know, I really appreciate being on faces of business. And now to our listeners out there, hope you found some value in our discussion. You know, my name is Tony Bagby. I’m president of lyric solutions. We provide Salesforce solutions that perform and we’re always happy to talk informally to those who are looking for guidance or looking for a helper. And if you’d like to coordinate a time to talk, you can contact us at let’s talk at lyric solutions comm Of course, or find us on the web at lyric solutions. And again, James, great to see you again. Many thanks for having me on.
Damon Pistulka 56:30
You bet, Tony. And for those listening. Thanks for being here today. We will be back again on Thursday. And I’m excited about our guests, as I always am for Thursday. And as I always do I forgotten who that is. I have I have one of these things that I know it’s I’d put this in my mind. But when I think about the next guest, I’ll get off and then I’ll remember but I’m sure it’s great. We always we always seem to be able to find awesome people like Tony but thanks Tony so much for being here today. And check him out on LinkedIn, grab grab, connect with him there finding that lyric solutions, and thanks for being here, everyone. All right.